MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (MSM): Today's Featured Wholesale Laggard

MSC Industrial Direct ( MSM) pushed the Wholesale industry lower today making it today's featured Wholesale laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, MSC Industrial Direct fell $0.83 (-1.1%) to $78.18 on average volume. Throughout the day, 360,753 shares of MSC Industrial Direct exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 388,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $78.10-$79.54 after having opened the day at $79.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.01. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that declined today were: Bluelinx Holdings ( BXC), down 10.7%, InfoSonics Corporation ( IFON), down 10.4%, Empire Resources Incorporated ( ERS), down 6.1% and Chindex International ( CHDX), down 5.9%.

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a direct marketer and distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products to industrial customers in the United States. MSC Industrial Direct has a market cap of $3.8 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate MSC Industrial Direct a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MSC Industrial Direct as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, McKesson ( MCK), up 4.4%, Susser Petroleum Partners ( SUSP), up 4.2%, Rada Electronics Industries ( RADA), up 4.2% and AmerisourceBergen ( ABC), up 2.8% , were all gainers within the wholesale industry with Magna International ( MGA) being today's featured wholesale industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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